ONSI Corp., South Windsor, CT, reports that one of its first model PC25TM fuel cells has surpassed 40,000 hours of cumulative operation. The unit, owned by Southern California Gas, provides electricity and co-generated heat for the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine, CA. "The durability of the cell stack is a true measure of commercial viability of fuel-cell power," reports Robert Suttmiller, president of International Fuel Cells, ONSI's parent company. Each of the 120 fuel cells in the ONSI fleet of PC25 power plants provides 200 kW--enough to supply electricity for nearly 150 homes. The cells use an electrochemical process to directly convert chemical energy into electricity and hot water. The chemical energy normally comes from hydrogen contained in natural gas. However, the cells do not burn the gas, so they operate virtually pollution-free. "The ONSI unit at Irvine has functioned with an operating availability of 95.6%," Suttmiller adds. "It has produced more than 7 million kW-hr of commercial-grade electricity, eliminating 200,000 lbs of pollutants that would have been created by power generators requiring combustion." FAX Michael London at (203) 459-1032.
The US Congress has extended an important tax credit for solar energy, a move that’s good news for future investments in this type of alternative energy and for many stakeholders in the solar industry.
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